A photo of the usually smiley boy looking sad tugged on heartstrings and ultimately brought him to his forever home.
dog adopted after one year
Credit: Courtesy of Burlington Animal Services

Chino, a sweet and fun-loving 6-year-old terrier mix, was starting to feel the effects of spending more than a year in two North Carolina shelters. The longtime resident stayed at one shelter for a year then an additional two months at Burlington Animal Services.

Laura Michel, Burlington Animal Services' marketing and communication specialist, says it's hard to say why Chino spent such a long time in the shelter considering his playful and friendly personality.

The Burlington Animal Services staff was told the loving pup could be "dog selective." However, Michel says they didn't see any indication of that. "We just know that Chino loved getting outside in our play area and loved being with people!" Michel tells Daily Paws.

Although the shelter isn't positive on Chino's age or breed, Michel says she and the staff think he was a "100 percent good boy" and a "happy, silly boy" who always enjoyed going out in the shelter's play areas to run and play with volunteers.

"He loves people and is a smart pup who knows the [cues] sit, speak, and whisper (he brings his volume down a notch or two)," she says.

Chino came to Burlington Animal Services (BAS) as the result of a swap between BAS and another local shelter, Guilford County Animal Services.

"We took three of their dogs who had not been getting much attention in exchange for three of ours who had been with us a while," Michel says. "Chino had been in their shelter for around a year and needed a change of scenery."

Initially, Michel says, Chino was like most other dogs in the kennel: He'd get excited and bark when people went by. But as the weeks passed, the staff began to notice a change.

"After he had been with us several weeks, we put him in one of our individual rooms to allow him more space, more visibility to visitors, and a quieter space," she explains. "He loved when staff or volunteers would come in to see him or take him outside, but he also seemed a little depressed and slept a lot. We realized he really needed to get adopted or go to a foster home."

Burlington Animal Services uses its social media platforms to promote pets and have found it's usually highly successful in helping them get noticed.

"We had already done a couple of posts about Chino, but we decided to do another one showing the Chino we saw—sleeping on his blanket, looking a little depressed and sad," Michel says. "For some reason, this particular post went absolutely viral and reached an incredible number of people. And it worked!"

A day or so after the post went up, Michel says a young woman came to the shelter, spent some time with Chino, and decided he was the one for her.

"Chino shared his opinion by telling us how he felt about spending so many months in a shelter--a big, fat, THANKS, BUT NO THANKS! I'M OUTTA HERE!" Burlington Animal Services wrote in a Facebook post. "Happy tails, sweet boy. We wish you nothing but the best and happiest life!"

The shelter hasn't had any communication with Chino's adopter since his Gotcha Day, but Michel says that to the best of their knowledge, he's doing well in his new home—all in time to enjoy the holidays and many years of love and happiness with his forever family.